by Doc – Owner, Founder, Yar Har Fiddle Dee Dee
Nintendo is clearly a crafty company, if not a customer-centric one.
During the recent Animal Crossing Direct, Ninty announced that they would be rolling out a second package for Nintendo Switch Online at a higher price. This package would add Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games to the Nintendo Switch library, allow access to the Happy Home Paradise DLC package for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and… I’m pretty sure that’s it. This extra setup will run you $50/year, called the “Expansion Pack”.
Come to the chalkboard with me and let’s do some math.
$20/year gets you online access (which was free with prior Nintendo consoles, mind you), NES and SNES games through the Nintendo Switch Online service and other assorted small benefits like the save data cloud.
$50/year gets you that, plus the N64 and Genesis with online multiplayer, and kinda free Animal Crossing DLC. (According to randos in the Youtube comment section, you only have DLC access when your $50 subscription is active, and it’ll go away when the subscription expires).
Is it worth $30/year to play Mario Kart 64 once or twice with your buddy and get conditional access to a DLC update you could just shell out $25 for? How much do you get for that extra $5/year?
Your Goody Two-Shoes Response
“Well gee Doc, you can finally legitimately play these classic games without having to dig out an old console and potentially violate the law.” you say loudly, hoping the Copyright Cops will hear that you’re a good guy. “After all, emulators are super duper illegal, and very unethical.”
Yeah, well Cuban cigars are illegal too, but JFK still had a drawer full of them. The fact remains that it’s a vastly better and smarter option to just emulate the games – after all, there’s no way Nintendo is going to be adding a lot of N64 games to this library once they’ve reeled in their suckers. How many D-list NES and SNES games are on the NSO library, while Earthbound stays out in the cold?
When you do the price comparison and consider the other circumstances at play, you’ll see that emulation is just the best option for everybody. You can emulate on darn near any device (if I recall, you may have a hard time doing it on iPhones), it’s totally free, comes with vastly better functionality and library than whatever Nintendo has planned, and it doesn’t cost you your firstborn son.
The N64 controller is dope though.